Dow Jones to merge television channel with CNBC

Dow Jones and CNBC are today expected to announce a merger of their TV operations in Europe and Asia. The move, which has been in the pipeline for some time, will see European Business News and CNBC Europe, the 24-hour business TV channels, fusing into a single entity.

Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal, has a 70 per cent stake in EBN. Flextech, the cable and satellite programmer, has the remaining shareholding. Flextech is to retain its interest, but as a passive investor with no further funding obligations. Flextech said in August that it planned to save pounds 4m a year by discontinuing its investment in EBN. Dow Jones also owns Asia Business News, which is likely to form part of the new entity.

Both CNBC Europe and EBN are understood to make big losses. Some elements of the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones, have reportedly expressed concern at the resources soaked up by the group's international TV business. EBN, which launched two years ago, features programmes such as Your Money, a personal finance show; and Media Report, a media news bulletin. The channel broadcasts in English and German, with a half-hour programme three times a week in French.

CNBC Europe set up a year later than EBN, and runs programmes like European Money Wheel and FT Business Tonight. Financial Times Television (FT-TV) recently laid off more than 50 staff in anticipation of the loss of its daily programming contract with CNBC Europe. EBN is expected to replace FT-TV's programmes.